Suppressor mutations in the Glutamine Dumper1 protein dissociate disturbance in amino acid transport from other characteristics of the Gdu1D phenotype.
ABSTRACT: Intracellular amino acid transport across plant membranes is critical for metabolic pathways which are often split between different organelles. In addition, transport of amino acids across the plasma membrane enables the distribution of organic nitrogen through the saps between leaves and developing organs. Amino acid importers have been studied for more than two decades, and their role in this process is well-documented. While equally important, amino acid exporters are not well-characterized. The over-expression of GDU1, encoding a small membrane protein with one transmembrane domain, leads to enhancement of amino acid export by Arabidopsis cells, glutamine secretion at the leaf margin, early senescence and size reduction of the plant, possibly caused by the stimulation of amino acid exporter(s). Previous work reported the identification of suppressor mutations of the GDU1 over-expression phenotype, which affected the GDU1 and LOG2 genes, the latter encoding a membrane-bound ubiquitin ligase interacting with GDU1. The present study focuses on the characterization of three additional suppressor mutations affecting GDU1. Size, phenotype, glutamine transport and amino acid tolerance were recorded for recapitulation plants and over-expressors of mutagenized GDU1 proteins. Unexpectedly, the over-expression of most mutated GDU1 led to plants with enhanced amino acid export, but failing to display secretion of glutamine and size reduction. The results show that the various effects triggered by GDU1 over-expression can be dissociated from one another by mutagenizing specific residues. The fact that these residues are not necessarily conserved suggests that the diverse biochemical properties of the GDU1 protein are not only born by the characterized transmembrane and VIMAG domains. These data provide a better understanding of the structure/function relationships of GDU1 and may enable modifying amino acid export in plants without detrimental effects on plant fitness.
Project description:The export of nutrients from source organs to parts of the body where they are required (e.g. sink organs) is a fundamental biological process. Export of amino acids, one of the most abundant nitrogen species in plant long-distance transport tissues (i.e. xylem and phloem), is an essential process for the proper distribution of nitrogen in the plant. Physiological studies have detected the presence of multiple amino acid export systems in plant cell membranes. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the molecular identity of amino acid exporters, partially due to the technical difficulties hampering the identification of exporter proteins. In this short review, we will summarize our current knowledge about amino acid export systems in plants. Several studies have described plant amino acid transporters capable of bi-directional, facilitative transport, reminiscent of activities identified by earlier physiological studies. Moreover, recent expansion in the number of available amino acid transporter sequences have revealed evolutionary relationships between amino acid exporters from other organisms with a number of uncharacterized plant proteins, some of which might also function as amino acid exporters. In addition, genes that may regulate export of amino acids have been discovered. Studies of these putative transporter and regulator proteins may help in understanding the elusive molecular mechanisms of amino acid export in plants.
Project description:Plant LOSS OF GDU 2 (LOG2) and Mammalian Mahogunin Ring Finger 1 (MGRN1) proteins are RING-type E3 ligases sharing similarity N-terminal to the RING domain. Deletion of this region disrupts the interaction of LOG2 with the plant membrane protein GLUTAMINE DUMPER1 (GDU1). Phylogenetic analysis identified two clades of LOG2/MGRN1-like proteins in vertebrates and plants. The ability of MGRN1 to functionally replace LOG2 was tested. MGRN1 ubiquitylates GDU1 in vitro and can partially substitute for LOG2 in the plant, partially restoring amino acid resistance to a GDU1-myc over-expression, log2-2 background. Altogether, these results suggest a conserved function for the N-terminal domain in evolution.
Project description:Intercellular amino acid transport is essential for the growth of all multicellular organisms, and its dysregulation is implicated in developmental disorders. By an unknown mechanism, amino acid efflux is stimulated in plants by overexpression of a membrane-localized protein (GLUTAMINE DUMPER 1 (GDU1)) that requires a ubiquitin ligase (LOSS OF GDU 2 (LOG2). Here we further explore the physiological consequences of the interaction between these two proteins. LOG2 ubiquitin ligase activity is necessary for GDU1-dependent tolerance to exogenous amino acids, and LOG2 self-ubiquitination was markedly stimulated by the GDU1 cytosolic domain, suggesting that GDU1 functions as an adaptor or coactivator of amino acid exporter(s). However, other consequences more typical of a ligase-substrate relationship are observed: disruption of the LOG2 gene increased the in vivo half-life of GDU1, mass spectrometry confirmed that LOG2 ubiquitinates GDU1 at cytosolic lysines, and GDU1 protein levels decreased upon co-expression with active, but not enzymatically inactive LOG2. Altogether these data indicate LOG2 negatively regulates GDU1 protein accumulation by a mechanism dependent upon cytosolic GDU1 lysines. Although GDU1-lysine substituted protein exhibited diminished in vivo ubiquitination, overexpression of GDU1 lysine mutants still conferred amino acid tolerance in a LOG2-dependent manner, consistent with GDU1 being both a substrate and facilitator of LOG2 function. From these data, we offer a model in which GDU1 activates LOG2 to stimulate amino acid export, a process that could be negatively regulated by GDU1 ubiquitination and LOG2 self-ubiquitination.
Project description:ASCT2 is a neutral amino acid transporter, which catalyzes a sodium-dependent obligatory antiport among glutamine and other neutral amino acids. The human ASCT2 over-expressed in Pichia pastoris and reconstituted in proteoliposomes has been employed for identifying alternative substrates of the transporter. The experimental data highlighted that hASCT2 also catalyzes a sodium-dependent antiport of glutamate with glutamine. This unconventional antiport shows a preferred sidedness: glutamate is inwardly transported in exchange for glutamine transported in the counter direction. The orientation of the transport protein in proteoliposomes is the same as in the cell membrane; then, the observed sidedness corresponds to the transport of glutamate from the extracellular to the intracellular compartment. The competitive inhibition exerted by glutamate on the glutamine transport together with the docking analysis indicates that the glutamate binding site is the same as that of glutamine. The affinity for glutamate is lower than that for neutral amino acids, while the transport rate is comparable to that measured for the asparagine/glutamine antiport. Differently from the neutral amino acid antiport that is insensitive to pH, the glutamate/glutamine antiport is pH-dependent with optimal activity at acidic pH on the external (extracellular) side. The stimulation of glutamate transport by a pH gradient suggests the occurrence of a proton flux coupled to the glutamate transport. The proton transport has been detected by a spectrofluorometric method. The rate of proton transport correlates well with the rate of glutamate transport indicating a 1:1 stoichiometry H+: glutamate. The glutamate/glutamine antiport is also active in intact HeLa cells. On a physiological point of view, the described antiport could have relevance in some districts in which a glutamate/glutamine cycling is necessary, such as in placenta.
Project description:Glutamine is a major amino donor for the synthesis of amino acids, nucleotides, and other nitrogen-containing compounds in all organisms. In addition to its role in nutrition and metabolism, glutamine can also function as a signaling molecule in bacteria, yeast, and humans. By contrast, the functions of glutamine in nutrition and as a signaling molecule remain unclear in plants.We demonstrated that glutamine could effectively support the growth of rice seedlings. In glutamine-treated rice roots, the glutamine contents increased dramatically, whereas levels of glutamate remained relatively constant. Transcriptome analysis of rice roots revealed that glutamine induced the expression of at least 35 genes involved in metabolism, transport, signal transduction, and stress responses within 30 min. Interestingly, 10 of the 35 early glutamine responsive genes encode putative transcription factors, including two LBD37-like genes that are involved in the regulation of nitrogen metabolism. Glutamine also rapidly induced the expression of the DREB1A, IRO2, and NAC5 transcription factor genes, which are involved in the regulation of stress responses.In addition to its role as a metabolic fuel, glutamine may also function as a signaling molecule to regulate gene expression in plants. The rapid induction of transcription factor genes suggests that glutamine may efficiently amplify its signal and interact with the other signal transduction pathways to regulate plant growth and stress responses. Thus, glutamine is a functional amino acid that plays important roles in plant nutrition and signal transduction.
Project description:Fatty acid synthesis in plants occurs in plastids, and thus, export for subsequent acyl editing and lipid assembly in the cytosol and endoplasmatic reticulum is required. Yet, the transport mechanism for plastid fatty acids still remains enigmatic. We isolated FAX1 (fatty acid export 1), a novel protein, which inserts into the chloroplast inner envelope by ?-helical membrane-spanning domains. Detailed phenotypic and ultrastructural analyses of FAX1 mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana showed that FAX1 function is crucial for biomass production, male fertility and synthesis of fatty acid-derived compounds such as lipids, ketone waxes, or pollen cell wall material. Determination of lipid, fatty acid, and wax contents by mass spectrometry revealed that endoplasmatic reticulum (ER)-derived lipids decreased when FAX1 was missing, but levels of several plastid-produced species increased. FAX1 over-expressing lines showed the opposite behavior, including a pronounced increase of triacyglycerol oils in flowers and leaves. Furthermore, the cuticular layer of stems from fax1 knockout lines was specifically reduced in C29 ketone wax compounds. Differential gene expression in FAX1 mutants as determined by DNA microarray analysis confirmed phenotypes and metabolic imbalances. Since in yeast FAX1 could complement for fatty acid transport, we concluded that FAX1 mediates fatty acid export from plastids. In vertebrates, FAX1 relatives are structurally related, mitochondrial membrane proteins of so-far unknown function. Therefore, this protein family might represent a powerful tool not only to increase lipid/biofuel production in plants but also to explore novel transport systems involved in vertebrate fatty acid and lipid metabolism.
Project description:There is increasing evidence that membrane transporters for glutamine and glutamate are involved in control of liver metabolism in health and disease. We therefore investigated the effects of three catabolic states [starvation (60 h), diabetes (4 days after streptozotocin treatment) and corticosteroid (8-day dexamethasone) treatment] associated with altered hepatic amino acid metabolism on the activity of glutamine and glutamate transporters in sinusoidal membrane vesicles from livers of treated rats. In control preparations, L-[14C]glutamine uptake was largely Na(+)-dependent, but L-[14C]glutamate uptake was largely Na(+)-independent. Vmax. values for Na(+)-dependent uptake of glutamine and/or glutamate exceeded control values (by about 2- and 12-fold respectively) in liver membrane vesicles from starved (glutamine), diabetic (glutamate) or steroid-treated (glutamine and glutamate) rats. The Km values for Na(+)-dependent transport of glutamine or glutamate and the rates of their Na(+)-independent uptake were not significantly altered by any treatment. Na(+)-independent glutamate uptake appeared to include a dicarboxylate-exchange component. The patterns of inhibition of glutamine and glutamate uptake by other amino acids indicated that the apparent induction of Na(+)-dependent amino acid transport in catabolic states included increased functional expression of systems A, N (both for glutamine) and X-ag (for glutamate). The results demonstrate that conditions resulting in increased secretion of catabolic hormones (e.g. corticosteroid, glucagon) are associated with increased capacity for Na(+)-dependent transport of amino acids into liver cells from the blood. The modulation of hepatic permeability to glutamine and glutamate in these situations may control the availability of amino acids for intrahepatic metabolic processes such as ureagenesis, ammonia detoxification and gluconeogenesis.
Project description:Endosymbiotic associations have played a major role in evolution. However, the molecular basis for the biochemical interdependence of these associations remains poorly understood. The aphid-Buchnera endosymbiosis provides a powerful system to elucidate how these symbioses are regulated. In aphids, the supply of essential amino acids depends on an ancient nutritional symbiotic association with the gamma-proteobacterium Buchnera aphidicola. Buchnera cells are densely packed in specialized aphid bacteriocyte cells. Here we confirm that five putative amino acid transporters are highly expressed and/or highly enriched in Acyrthosiphon pisum bacteriocyte tissues. When expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, two bacteriocyte amino acid transporters displayed significant levels of glutamine uptake, with transporter ACYPI001018, LOC100159667 (named here as Acyrthosiphon pisum glutamine transporter 1, ApGLNT1) functioning as the most active glutamine transporter. Transporter ApGLNT1 has narrow substrate selectivity, with high glutamine and low arginine transport capacity. Notably, ApGLNT1 has high binding affinity for arginine, and arginine acts as a competitive inhibitor for glutamine transport. Using immunocytochemistry, we show that ApGLNT1 is localized predominantly to the bacteriocyte plasma membrane, a location consistent with the transport of glutamine from A. pisum hemolymph to the bacteriocyte cytoplasm. On the basis of functional transport data and localization, we propose a substrate feedback inhibition model in which the accumulation of the essential amino acid arginine in A. pisum hemolymph reduces the transport of the precursor glutamine into bacteriocytes, thereby regulating amino acid biosynthesis in the bacteriocyte. Structural similarities in the arrangement of hosts and symbionts across endosymbiotic systems suggest that substrate feedback inhibition may be mechanistically important in other endosymbioses.
Project description:Plants acquire nitrogen in the form of amino acids from the soil, and transport proteins located in the plasma membrane of root cells are required for this process. It was found that the Arabidopsis lysine-histidine-like transporter LHT6 is expressed in root cells important for amino acid uptake, including the epidermis, root hairs, and cortex. Transport studies with lht6 mutants using high levels of amino acids demonstrated that LHT6 is in fact involved in amino acid uptake. To determine if LHT6 plays a role in nitrogen acquisition at soil amino acid concentrations, growth and uptake studies were performed with low levels of toxic amino acid analogues and radiolabelled amino acids, respectively. In addition, mutants of AAP1, another root amino acid transporter, and lht6/aap1 double mutants were examined. The results showed that LHT6 is involved in uptake of acidic amino acids, glutamine and alanine, and probably phenylalanine. LHT6 seems not to transport basic or other neutral amino acids, or, alternatively, other transporters might compensate for eliminated LHT6 function. Previous studies suggested that AAP1 only takes up amino acids at high concentrations; however, here it is demonstrated that the transporter functions in acquisition of glutamate and neutral amino acids when present at soil concentrations. When comparing the characterized root uptake systems, it appears that transporters both with overlapping substrate specificity and with preference for specific substrates are required to access the soil amino acid pool.
Project description:We investigated the effects of glutamine and histidine analogues on glutamine transport processes in membrane vesicles prepared from rat liver (sinusoidal membrane) and skeletal muscle (sarcolemma). L-[14C]Glutamine is transported in these membranes predominantly by Systems N/Nm (liver and muscle respectively), and to a lesser extent by Systems A and L (e.g. about 60, 20 and 20% of total flux respectively via Systems N, A and L at 0.05 mM-glutamine in liver membrane vesicles). The glutamine anti-metabolites 6-diazo-5-oxo-L-norleucine and acivicin were relatively poor inhibitors of glutamine uptake into liver membrane vesicles (less than 25% inhibition at 20-fold excess) and appeared primarily to inhibit System A activity (i.e. N-methylaminoisobutyric acid-inhibitable glutamine uptake). In similar experiments azaserine (also a glutamine anti-metabolite) inhibited approx. 50% of glutamine uptake, apparently by inhibition of System A and also of System L (i.e. 2-amino-2-carboxybicyclo[2,2,1]heptane-inhibitable glutamine uptake). Glutamate gamma-hydroxamate, aspartate beta-hydroxamate, histidine and N'-methylhistidine were all strong inhibitors of glutamine uptake into liver membrane vesicles (greater than 65% inhibition at 20-fold excess), but neither homoglutamine nor N'-methylhistidine produced inhibition. L-Glutamate-gamma-hydroxamate was shown to be a competitive inhibitor of glutamine transport via System N (Ki approximately 0.6 mM). Glutamine uptake in sarcolemmal vesicles showed a similar general pattern of inhibition as in liver membrane vesicles. The results highlight limits on the substrate tolerance of System N; we suggest that the presence of both an L-alpha-amino acid group and a nitrogen group with a delocalized lone-pair of electrons (amide or pyrrole type), separated by a specific intramolecular distance (C2-C4 chain equivalent), is important for substrate recognition by this transporter.